What was meant to be, will be
When Lizzy James flies to Dublin, Ireland, all she wants is to have a relaxing weekend. But the misty streets hold many memories from the carefree summer Lizzy spent as a student in the city, and she cannot shake off the feeling that something is unfinished. The past grows stronger when Lizzy receives a message from an old friend, Alice, who has gone from one dazzling success to another since college.
But perfect Alice has a guilty and unexpected secret. On their last night in Dublin seven years ago, Alice swapped destinies with Lizzy. The deal ends at midnight that very night.
With a handsome, mysterious Dubliner called Declan in hot pursuit, Lizzy has no choice but to join Alice as they race across the city. Their fates entwined, the girls have one night to put things right. Can the girls change the past and restore destiny to its proper path? As the hour draws near, anything can happen at midnight in Dublin.
“Lizzy!” Alice had grabbed my shoulders and pecked my cheek.
I felt the softness of her ash-blond hair as it brushed my face, a softness only achieved with regular maintenance. Her tight fitting jacket and skirt oozed style and expense, and her glossy handbag was quite possibly made from an actual reptile. On her slim, childish hand she wore a large diamond and ruby engagement ring. She was Alice, older and luxurious.
“You haven’t changed a bit!” Alice declared.
I wondered if in fact I was wearing the same jeans I had worn seven years ago. Alice shifted in her seat. I had the strange feeling she was nervous. When she gazed at me, she had resumed her compelling, confident expression and her eyes bored into me as if she could learn all my secrets.
“So,” Alice’s lips rose in a smile, “tell me what you’ve been doing. Are you an artist now?”
My heart sank, “No, I kind of gave up.”
“Really? Didn’t you want to be an illustrator or something?”
“I did, years ago but you know -”
“So where are you working?”
“I’m not actually working at the moment,” I said, unsure which word to stress, “I had a job interview in London yesterday.”
“So you live in London?”
“No. I’m in Edinburgh.”
“Yes Alice,” I breathed in, trying to sound chirpy, “I lived in London for a year,” I added, “before the company I worked for closed down. So it’s Edinburgh for the time being.”
“And where are you living?”
“With my parents.”
“Your parents?” Alice raised her eyebrows in an annoying way.
“At the moment.”
Alice smiled again, “And who are you going out with?”
“No one. Actually.”
That summed up my life really. On all fronts, everything had ground to a halt. All my potential had evaporated. I’d drifted into a career I didn’t particularly like, I had no job, and I’d had to move back home with my parents. Alice had managed to get it all out of me in the first minute. It was just that I’d had the most incredible bad luck. You had to get a break sometime, at something. But for seven years, the seven years since I’d seen Alice, it had all been one long, continuous free-fall.
As for Alice, I knew her story, even if I didn’t want to. She had gone from one success to another; surprising everyone by landing a graduate job with a luxury hotel group, being posted from Bali to the Cayman Islands and then to London. Each move came with a promotion, and now she was a director of her company. I’d heard stories of her house in London, her travels and parties and her fiancé who ran a hedge fund. My life looked sad and grey in comparison.
Somewhere in Dublin a clock struck six. The bells rang out across the cobblestone lanes. I’d never heard such a grave sound before. The twilight was turning into evening.
Alice glanced into the sky. Despite the glittering ruby on her finger and her glossy alligator bag, I realized she was scared. Really, really scared.